AGRICULTURE SECRETARY Ann M. Veneman has selected Edward B. Knipling to be administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Antoinette A. Betschart and Caird E. Rexroad Jr. to be associate administrators.

“Ed Knipling has provided valuable experience in leading ARS in an acting position,” said Veneman. “We appreciate his continued willingness to serve in this leadership position.”

Knipling has served as ARS acting administrator since December 2001. He has worked at ARS in various positions since joining the agency in 1968. As administrator, Knipling is responsible for managing USDA's main in-house scientific research agency, with over 2,100 scientists and 8,000 total employees in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and overseas.

He began his career with the USDA/ARS as a research plant physiologist in Gainesville, Fla. He has also served as area director for ARS in Stoneville, Miss., from 1975 to 1978.